Choosing The Right Word

The art of writing, so I am discovering, is not as simple as just writing a group of words, and making sentences to express a thought, image or idea.  Nor is it in the grammar.

The words themselves have to be taken into consideration.

A writer has to show a story, not tell and some words interfere with the showing.

When I first read the article by Robbie Blair (check out this website: ), my heart sank, I had used most of the words he mentioned – a lot.  Curious, I explored further and found other words.

One word in particular become a sore point for me as I tended to use it quite a lot, is that.  I know the word has its place in language, but I have to say when I have removed that word from a sentence, I’ve had to really think about sentence structure and most times the removal of that word makes a difference. And there is another word – really. The list goes on and so far, I have gathered over thirty words.

In all, the word – that – seems to be my major downfall. It’s sort of ironic that words we use in everyday conversation are not really conducive to storytelling. And I’m discovering without these words my writing is tighter and the story easier to read. I have rewritten sentences and in a few cases paragraphs. But as I want to ‘show’ my story, I’m going to keep plucking certain words from my writing.

At least that is the idea.

I am only human after all.




2 thoughts on “Choosing The Right Word

  1. I don’t really even think of it as showing a story. I think it is writing in a way that allows events to unfold so the reader has control. It is their journey not ours and that is the way it should be. Now just in those three sentences I have used really, and that, and I am guessing now and just are also on that list. Learning when to use them is important but sometimes those words are allowable. I used them for emphasis. Learning the difference is a pain in the you know what but getting bogged down in all of this hampers the writing. Oh no the dreaded ‘but’ word was used.

    Haven’t we had a fun ride in all of this? Thank you for making it that way.


    1. Alyson

      Thanks Barb.
      I admit to using certain words for emphasis as well. The question is, do we use those words or restructure the sentence? Ahhhhhhh, it hurts the brain trying to work all this out.
      Sharing the ride with friends makes the journey worth while 🙂


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